An American in Scotland Review, Excerpt and Giveaway.


An American in Scotland_cover

An American In Scotland by Karen Ranney is a historical romance rooted in family, tradition and adventure. The MacIain trilogy centers around the cotton shortages,  fiber mill struggles and the realization that the American Civil War made it’s way to Scotland. Will the MacIain’s survive?

Rose MacIain has traveled from Charleston, South Carolina to Scotland to save her family despite their cruelty and lack of care for anyone but themselves. Rose a northerner by birth moved to the south with her sister upon her marriage to a plantation owner. What she endures will test her and make her stronger. When the war threatens to destroy the only family she has left, she risks everything to save them.

Misunderstandings, assumption and a raging war in America have sent our heroine to Scotland, but are her secrets safe? Will they destroy her an ocean away? Traveling alone and unchaperoned is brave and bold. Will the MacIain’s of Scotland believe her story?

Duncan MacIain is trying desperately to save his Mill and his family. The war in America has affected the business and threatens to shut him down. Will he find a viable solution to his problem?

When the truth surfaces will Duncan comfort Rose or push her away? Journey with them as they travel from the Scotland to the plantations of the south as the war rages and no one is safe.

This book takes us on a journey where love and the desire to make a change is threaded throughout this series.

While each book can be read as a stand alone it is a wonderful series and with the third installment there is plenty to dive into. Plenty of romance, adventure and heartache to leave you completely satisfied after each and every book.

I received this ARC for a fair and honest review. Pre-order your copy here: American in Scotland, An (Maciain) – it releases tomorrow!




Excerpt #1

My darling sons,


When you each came into the world, I marveled at the miracle that created you. I held you in my arms and knew I would cherish you until the breath left my body.

Now I must bid farewell to all three of you at once.

The Almighty has indeed challenged me this day.

I know you go on a great adventure and do so with eagerness and enthusiasm. The Highlands offer less opportunity to you of late. I know this and mourn the circumstances of your leaving even as I know you will do honor to the MacIain name.

When someone asks me about my sons, I’ll speak proudly of you. My eldest son, I’ll say, remained in Scotland, a few days’ journey away. But one of my sons traveled to England to make peace with the conqueror, while the other set sail for America.

You will have children of your own, each of them carrying the MacIain blood and name. Tell them about our history, how we dreamed of an empire. Tell them about the place from which we came, a corner of Scotland known for its men of greatness and nobility.

Mention your mother, if you will, who bravely relinquished her sons to the future.

The Almighty has not given us the power of foresight, but I cannot help but think years from now, your children and your children’s children will be proud MacIains, as formidable as their ancestors

Love sometimes means sacrifice, and I feel that truly on this day. I sacrifice you to honor, to your heritage, and to a future only you can create. Go with God, my darling sons. May your dreams be realized and may He always protect you.

Anne Summers MacIain


June, 1746


Chapter 1


Glasgow, Scotland

May, 1863

Rose thanked the driver as she exited the carriage and made her way down the path to the door. She didn’t know what she expected, but the three-story structure with its curved front surprised her. The bay windows, one on each side of the house, were curved as well. She had the thought that it was a friendly place, that the windows were almost like eyes. The two columns on either side of the front steps created an open mouth, almost as if the house were saying: Who are you? A stranger? Welcome anyway.

What if he refused to see her? What if he sent her away?

That couldn’t happen. She couldn’t allow it to happen.

She’d come so far.

Scotland surprised her, almost as much as its people. Everyone, from the porter to her fellow travelers on the train, had been a delight, genial and exceedingly helpful. While it was true they were curious, almost intrusively so, she didn’t mind repeating that, yes, she was an American. Yes, the war was a terrible thing. Thankfully, most of the discussions of her country ended there. She didn’t have to explain where she came from, what she truly thought about the war, and why she wore mourning. Because she was unaccompanied, no doubt most assumed she was a widow.

Assumptions were wonderful things. They kept her from lying.

Rose had expected a country filled with unique vistas: tall, craggy mountains and heather bedecked glens. She saw those and more, heart-stopping bridges that arched over gorges and rivers crashing over rocks to settle in placid pools. Sections of Scotland were green and verdant. Other places were brown, gray, and black.

When they arrived in Glasgow, her opinion of Scotland underwent a transformation.

Here was a place as bustling as New York. Cranes and spires filled the horizon. The sound of hammering and shouting obscured the call of the seabirds overhead. Docks and ships, long buildings and bustling people, wagons and carriages, all gave the appearance of frenetic activity.

She had no idea Glasgow was so large, so hilly, or so crowded.

After carefully consulting the letter in her reticule, she gave the hired driver the address to the MacIain house.

How odd that after all these weeks, all she felt was an incredible urge to sleep.

The voyage from Nassau to England had been relatively swift, and a great deal less stressful than running the blockade from Charleston outward to the Bahamas.

The train from London had been a marvel of speed and efficiency. Had she been on a different errand, she would’ve enjoyed herself immensely. As it was, each day sounded like a gong in the back of her mind, a deep-throated noise to alert her to how long she’d been gone.

Time was not on her side.


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ICYMI:  My previous review of In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams

Author Info:


USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.


Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads






In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams Book Review, Author Q & A and more!



In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney is a beautifully written story into the world of shipbuilding, war and love in Scotland. This is Book One in a new series that is sure to please as we explore the effects of the American Civil War through the eyes of  amazing characters in Scotland.

Glynis MacIain has adored Lennox Cameron, her older brother’s dear friend, since she was a little girl. When rumors start to spread that he’s about to marry the daughter of a Russian Business partner, she flees the country.  Instead of confronting Lennox, she marries a Diplomat and moves to Washington. For seven years Glynis has led a different life as the wife of a Diplomat whose ultimate goal was to mold her into the perfect wife, but did he succeed? Did he truly destroy her wild and impulsive nature?

When an unfortunate accident leaves her a widow and alone, she is forced to return to Scotland. It’s time to deal with the rumors from her past both in Washington and Scotland. Unfortunately for Glynis she discovers an old acquaintance, an American, who once again is pursuing her and now she must figure out how to deal with him once and for all. Talks of spies, war and yes, even attraction, are spoken daily fueling gossip amongst even those who are considered friends.

Blackmail? Secrets? Will it ever end? Too many misunderstandings and words unspoken leave both Lennox and Glynis headed in opposite directions. Lennox is intent on helping to bring cotton back to Scotland, even if it means supporting the Confederacy.

When Glynis once again musters up the courage to kiss Lennox will they finally give in to their feelings? Will they be able to put everything behind them and figure if they can be together? When Lennox realizes that Glynnis may be hiding more than just her feelings things get complicated.

As it becomes increasingly more difficult to determine who’s telling the truth and what secrets will be discovered, tension mounts. Why should it matter who helps soldiers fighting in the American Civil War? Cotton shortages, fiber mill struggles, and trust issues, Lennox is determined to find a better way. His dream is to become a world renowned shipbuilder for constructing the biggest and fastest ships. With the American Civil war still going strong he needs to find a way to bring the cotton back to save Scotland, but will it come at too high a price?

Will Glynis and Lennox finally admit to each other how they really feel? Will they be able to move forward and finally find a way to forget the past seven years? What will Glynis do when she discovers the truth about what really happened?

This is definitely a must read story that will keep you wondering until the very end who’s side everyone is on.  I received this ARC for a fair and honest review and am glad I did!  This was the first book I’ve read by Karen Ranney and found her work to be refreshing, exciting and full of zest!

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Author Q & A

1. What is a MUST read book and why? The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Harp. I have oodles of favorite fiction titles, but that book by Twyla Harp is a must read for writers, I think.

2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
San Antonio is a tourist town. I’d have to say the Riverwalk.

3. What is your favorite movie of all time and why? Murder by Death and The Private Eyes – I have a very goofy sense of humor and I don’t watch movies all that much. I prefer TV.

4. When you plot out your book how long does it take and do you know how it will end? I use Scrivener. I adore Scrivener, by the way. Serious plotting takes about three days. I not only know how it will end, I know all the scenes. I’m most definitely a plotter. I think of plotting like dancing in a huge dance studio. I can make any movement I want, dance the ballet or the tango. The studio just keeps me from dancing down the stairs and out into the street. A plot always changes a little as you’re writing, but it serves to keep you from dancing down the stairs and out into the street.

5. What was on your playlist while writing “In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams?” Only Time by Enya and In Your Wildest Dreams by The Moody Blues. I don’t listen to music while I write, but those two songs featured prominently while I was editing.

6. Do you watch a TV show weekly or binge watch? I just recently got rid of satellite TV, so I’m on Roku with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I’m really surprised to find so many great series I never watched. I can only watch about two hours of TV a night. I have to be doing something else at the same time. Right now I’m going through The Killing which, structurally, is fascinating.

7. What’s your guilty pleasure? I don’t have one. Anything I really want to do, I do. I don’t feel guilty about it. (Guilt is overrated.)

8. What is the craziest souvenir you picked up while traveling? Do you collect things when you travel? I’m odd about “stuff” I don’t really collect things. I might have to clean it later.

9. I love reading books about Scotland, what’s your favorite place to visit during a trip for research? If you didn’t travel, how did you research for the book? I adore Edinburgh. My second favorite city is Inverness. I have a library of some old and esoteric books about Scotland. What I can’t remember I look up. I also haunt the newspaper and broadsheet libraries now online – fantastic resource.

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Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads